Gum Grafting Root Coverage

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At The Center for Oral Surgery Las Vegas, our highly trained staff offers state-of-the-art treatments for patients all across the greater Las Vegas area! Our expert maxillofacial and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Carlos Letelier, performs a wide range of oral surgeries, ranging from extensive reconstructive treatments to minor routine procedures; including gum grafting root coverage.

A gum graft (also known as a gingival graft or periodontal plastic surgery), is the collective name for surgical periodontal procedures that aim to cover an exposed tooth root surface with grafted oral tissue. Exposed tooth roots are usually the result of gingival recession due to periodontal disease, overly aggressive brushing, trauma, or genetic factors that predispose a patient for gum recession.

Common Types Of Gum Grafting Root Coverage

  • Free Gingival Graft – A free gingival graft is often used to thicken gum tissue. A layer of soft tissue is removed from the outer layer of palate and relocated to the area affected by gum recession. Both sites will quickly heal without permanent damage.
  • Subepithelial Connective Tissue Graft – This procedure is commonly used to cover exposed roots. Tissue is removed fairly painlessly from the outer layer of the palate and relocated to the site of gum recession.  
  • Acellular Dermal Matrix Allograft – This procedure uses medically processed, donated human tissue as a tissue source for the graft. The advantage of this is procedure is that there is no need for a donor site from the patient’s palate!

Benefits Of Gum Graft Surgery

Although the name my sound frightening, gum grafting root coverage is a common periodontal procedure that provides our patients with excellent results. Some of the major benefits of gum grafting to cover an exposed root include:

Reduced Oral Sensitivity

When the tooth root becomes exposed, eating or drinking hot or cold foods can cause extreme sensitivity to the teeth. Gum grafting surgery permanently covers the exposed root, helps to reduce discomfort, and restores the good health of the gums.

Improved Appearance

Periodontal disease is characterized by gum recession and inflammation.  Gum recession and root exposure can make the teeth look longer than normal and the smile to appear “toothy.”  Gum grafting can make the teeth look shorter, more symmetrical and generally more pleasing to look at. In addition, adjacent tissue can be enhanced and augmented during the procedure for aesthetic purposes.

Better Gum Health

Periodontal disease can progress and destroy gum tissue very rapidly.  If left untreated, a large amount of gum tissue can be lost in a short period of time.  Gum grafting can help halt tissue and bone loss; preventing further problems and protecting exposed roots from further decay.

The Gum Grafting Root Coverage Process

Once the need for gum grafting surgery has been determined by your dentist,  there are several treatments the dentist will want perform before gum grafting takes place. First, the teeth must be thoroughly cleaned to remove calculus (tartar) and bacteria. Your dentist can also provide literature, advice, and educational tools to increase the effectiveness of homecare and help reduce the susceptibility of periodontal disease in the future.

At The Center For Oral Surgery Las Vegas, the gum grafting procedure is usually performed under local anesthetic, where you are comfortably asleep! The exact procedure will depend on whether tissue is coming from the your palate, or from a tissue bank. Initially, small incisions will be made at the recipient site to create a small pocket to accommodate the graft. Then a split thickness incision is made, and the connective tissue graft is inserted into the space between the two sections of tissue. The graft is usually slightly larger than the recession area, so some excess will be apparent.

Gum Graft Healing Process

Sutures are often placed to further stabilize the graft, preventing any shifting from the designated site. Surgical material is used to protect the area during the first week of healing, and a surgical stent is made from an impression of the upper arch in order to cover and protect the palatal wound as it heals. Uniformity and healing of the gums will be achieved in approximately six weeks!

Get In Touch With Your Las Vegas Oral Surgeon Today!

If you would like to learn more about gum grafting root coverage, don’t hesitate to contact us today! If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please feel free to give us a call at (702) 367-6666. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!